Isler, R.B., Starkey, N.J. & Sheppard, P. (2011). Effects of higher-order driving skill training on young, inexperienced drivers’ on-road driving performance. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 43(5), 1818-1827.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/5408
The aim of the current study was to compare the effects of training in higher-order driving skills (e.g., perceptual, motivational, insight) and vehicle handling skill training in relation to on-road driving performance, hazard perception, attitudes to risky driving and driver confidence levels in young, inexperienced drivers. Thirty-six young drivers (23 males and 13 females, average age 16.3 years), mostly on a restricted NZ driver licence, participated in a Driver Training Research camp. Participants were randomly allocated to one of three equally sized groups according to the type of driving skill training (5 days) they received: higher-order, vehicle handling or control (no training). Professional driver assessors conducted a comprehensive driving assessment before (Baseline) and after the training (Post Training). At both time points, participants also carried out a computerised hazard perception task, and completed self-report questionnaires to assess attitudes to risky driving and driver confidence. In terms of on road driving, the participants who received higher-order driving skill training showed a statistically significant improvement in relation to visual search and the composite driving measure. This was accompanied by an improvement in hazard perception, safer attitudes to close following and to dangerous overtaking and a decrease in driving related confidence. The participants who received vehicle handling skill training showed significant improvements in relation to their on-road direction control, speed choice and the composite driving score. However, this group showed no improvement in hazard perception, attitudes to risky driving or driver confidence. The findings will be discussed in the context of driver training as a viable crash prevention intervention in regard to young, inexperienced drivers.